Meliah Motchman is my friend. She is also a 28 year old woman living with Down Syndrome. I have been coaching Meliah through Special Olympics for over seven years. Three years ago she asked if she could swim with me at the lake. She wanted to become an open water swimmer.
Meliah is a very social person. At first she would stop often during her swims to chit chat with other people in the lake. Over time, she learned how to focus and swim for longer periods.
Her first year as an open water swimmer Meliah swam 800 metres at the Thetis Lake Swim for Multiple Sclerosis. She did a wonderful job. When the summer was over she went back to pool swimming and I could see significant improvement in her mental focus.
Last year Meliah built upon what she had learned and challenged herself further with a 5 kilometre swim. You can read about her swim and watch her video here.
This year Meliah would like to add to the distance and will be attempting a 10 kilometre official unassisted swim in Lake Cowichan, British Columbia. You can learn more about this swim here.